Steps in preventing computer theft or making it less painful

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Computer theftBelow is a short list of recommendations that can not only help protect your laptop from being stolen, but also helps eliminate stress if it does happen to be stolen.

Protect

Keep track of important data

Write down the computer serial number and model number, the support phone number, and any other useful details about the computer and store that information in your files. Keep the receipts of your computer and associated equipment. This information will come in handy when you need to report the laptop as stolen.

Engrave contact and reward info

Engrave, or put a sticker on the laptop with a phone number with a reward of around $250 for laptop return if lost. Often many thief's can't get more than this on the black market, and may call you to sell it back to you.

Don't keep it out in the open

Never keep your laptop out in the open, this is especially true when the laptop is in your car. If you leave your laptop alone even for a moment it's an easy target for someone to grab while you're not looking.

Use a laptop lock

Kensington laptop lockIf you are using a laptop while at a coffee shop, work, school, or away from home attach it to a lock. Most laptops today support the Kensington Lock that can help prevent it from being taken if you step away from it. If a Kensington Lock is not available Compucage, Kensington, and Targus offer other security protection and locks.

Keep eyes open at the airport

If you're taking your laptop with you on a plane, keep a close eye on it at all times. Especially when it has to leave your hands to go through a metal detector. Thief's can use this opportunity to take your laptop.

Use laptop protection services

Check to see if your laptop has TheftGuard or any other security system that can be enabled. If not, consider alternative program. We've listed several of these programs in the below services that help track and protect.

Eliminate stress

Backup your important data

Keep a frequent external backup of all your important data. Having your important data on a CD or other drive that's not part of your computer can save you lots of time and pain if your computer goes missing.

Password protect

Create a boot password in CMOS setup so your computer prompts for a password before it boots.

Protect passwords

Use a good password manager to store and encrypt your password and other login information. Many people will put login information in a text file that can be read by the person who stole the laptop.

Encrypt sensitive data

If you have important or information that you would like to keep confidential, make sure to encrypt or password protect that data.

Protection and tracking services

There are dozens of online services that can help protect your computer, and in the event that it's stolen, help locate it. Below is a list of some of these companies in alphabetic order.